Thursday, December 31, 2009
My Review: Up in the Air excels at showing reality. While it's funny, the film also explores areas that are generally not touched upon. The sobering story succeeds at showing that not all films have a "happily-ever-after" fairy-tale ending. You can relate to Clooney as he plays a man who shows no personality and no regard for living a more decent life. This film is very different from anything Reitman has ever done. It shows that he can tell a story of a middle-aged man and the problems facing him. It was by no means a corky comedy, but rather a tragedy with a balance of humor and a sense of comfort in knowing that you aren't always alone. 3 out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
My Review: From the start, the goal of the film was more focused on action sequences than focusing on the story. The script was poorly written and for the most part the dialogue was quiet and fuzzy. I was very disappointed in McAdams' acting as Irene Adler. She brought no charisma and none of her charm to the role. Downey Jr. and Law played the roles almost perfectly. They acted authentically and it was the only aspect of the film that intrigued me. I could relate to Downey Jr. because he played a very cynical role and cynicism in acting is something that works and often makes the film more enjoyable. The flow of the movie was far from consistent. Toward the end, the story became more interesting with a possible hint at a sequel... 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
My Review: From the start, Nine dazzled the screen with its stars. Each of them had their time to shine. I was disturbed by Kate Hudson's "Cinema Italiano" because of the lack of authenticity and above all, passion. I expected more from a young, vibrant, versatile actress. Another thing that annoyed me was the brevity of Kidman's presence. Though when she appeared, I enjoyed every moment. Cruz was as always, nothing short of brilliant. Marion Cotillard shined even at times when the stage was dark and you could see nothing but her. Cotillard played the role of Contini's wife to a tee and did it with such passion and dedication. If she doesn't get awards for this role, there is something wrong. She had the most convincing performance of the whole cast. Fergie did a great job, even though it probably wasn't anything she hadn't done in real life before. Day-Lewis didn't do as well as I would expect him to. His accent sounded more like a vampire, which made it painful to listen to. Overall, the film didn't fulfill my expectations but you have to appreciate Nine for the music, women, and entertainment it succeeds at providing. 3 out of 4 stars.
Friday, December 25, 2009
My Review: It's been a while since I saw a film and laughed-out-loud. This rare occasion was one where I did just that. The fantastic script was played so well by the actors. Meryl Streep, Baldwin, and Martin all contributed to the hilarious story that had the crowd rolling on the floor. This was by no means, a chick-flick. It was a romantic comedy about a divorced couple and the challenges they face as they find themselves interested in each other once again. Nancy Meyers never fails to fascinate with her stories about relationships and this was no exception. I couldn't imagine any others replacing Streep. She was the icing on the cake, the delicious melted hot filling in a warm croissant. What made the film authentic was its connection to reality. It breaks the stereotype that says people who are older sit around by the fireplace and read books. 3 out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Keep reading for my official Golden Globe Predictions that will be posted before the year's close. I don't know folks, I will have to process the comedy categories and watch all the Christmas Day releases (Nine, Sherlock Holmes, It's Complicated, Up In The Air) before I make my final predictions.
Stay Tuned and Happy Awards Season!!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
My Review: The lighthearted turned emotional dramedy was pleasing to watch with the time passing by effortlessly. De Niro's performance was by far one of the best in his career because while watching it, you feel for the character who tried to make his children's lives planned out but not appreciated by the very ones that should have been. At times, the film becomes painful to watch. I felt De Niro's pain as he traveled to each of his children and not receiving so much of a warm welcome. Though predictable, like most movies made today, I still felt that "Everybody's Fine" has made an impact on my life. I will learn from the sobering situations that the characters are faced with throughout the film and carry those lessons with me when faced with similar obstacles. 3 out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
My Review: And a fantastic animated story this was. Not only was the animation fantastic, but even more so, the humor the film gives. The performance of Clooney as a charmingly witty fox wins him some brownie points with me. The creativeness of the film captured me in ways that no motion picture has ever achieved. From beginning to end, the laughs kept coming and the performances and the story never dried up. If I had a better way of articulating myself, the praise of this film would never end. Deserving of best animated film. There, I said it. Now everyone knows what to expect from this astounishing tale---literally. ★★★★
Favorite line: "Why a fox? Why not a horse, or a beetle, or a bald eagle? I'm saying this more as, like, existentialism, you know? Who am I? And how can a fox ever be happy without, you'll forgive the expression, a chicken in its teeth?"- Mr. Fox
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
My Review: The film wasn't bad at all. I originally had no intentions of seeing this but was told that I should see it by numerous people. I actually enjoyed the tale for the most part. The exquisitely crafted visual experience made the film along with the performance of Jim Carrey, even though I usually can't stand him in other roles. It teaches the audience many lessons through its tale of a greedy-turned-generous man who touches lives and saves them as well. It was pretty scary for a children's movie but eventually melts the hearts of every audience member when Tiny Tim speaks his classic line. ★★1/2
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The film follows a reporter, Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), who stumbles onto the story of a lifetime when he meets a special forces operator, Lyn Cassady (George Clooney). As they set out on a new mission, Lyn reveals his twenty-year involvement in a top secret, psychic military unit and shares details of their activities, each more bizarre than the last.
My Review: This movie is 100% authentic satire at its best. The smart script accompanied by the performances of Clooney and Bridges scream hilarity. The story begins strongly in comedy aspects but never seems to recover as the film progresses. Overall, the film falls short of the high expectations that it set for audiences, yet I respect the movie's eagerness. It is worth seeing for its performance and story about nothing. ★★★
Friday, November 6, 2009
My Review: This film was utter brilliance. It's script and stellar performances of Stuhlbarg and Kind make the film. The Coen brother's direction is nothing short of flawless and it intrigues the audience. Though it is very, and I mean very dark, it isn't noticeable and the film is over before you know it. What fascinated me was the symbolism the storyline held. It is very thought provoking and frustrating until you see the whole movie for what it's worth. I will be shocked if this film doesn't get nominated for the Oscars in the screenplay, acting, or best picture catagory. ★★★★
Saturday, October 24, 2009
After becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia(Hilary Swank) was thrust into a new role as America's sweetheart known for her bold, larger-than-life charisma. She was an inspiration to people everywhere, from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to the men closest to her heart: her husband, promoter and publishing magnate George P. Putnam (Richard Gere). In the summer of 1937, Amelia set off on her most daunting mission yet: a solo flight around the world that she and George both anxiously foresaw as destined, whatever the outcome, to become one of the most talked-about journeys in history.
My Review: Amelia failed to take off in my opinion. The film told me nothing that what I had already not known. The script was horrific and a majority of the performances were wooden. The only praise this film gets from me is the scenery and the performance of Hilary Swank. It was a near-flawless representation in terms of personality and appearance. The movie had good intentions but failed to catch my eye. The man snoring two rows in front of me didn't help either. I was expecting more from such a renowned cast and production team. No Oscars except for acting are deserved. ★★
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) lives in small-town Texas and yearns to break free of her mother's world of beauty pageants and conformity. Bliss sees her chance when she meets the Hurl Scouts, a roller-derby team; she tries out for the team and wins a slot, lying to her parents about her new hobby. Bliss finds friendship and freedom with her teammates, but a conflict between a championship game and a beauty pageant threatens to spill her secret.
My Review: Drew Barrymore's directorial debut has potential but is missing key elements to have people watch attentively. For me, this was nothing more than a chick flick aimed toward all age ranges. As for the writing, it was decent. I miss watching Ellen Page in the "Juno"- like roles where she is all about cynicism and wit. Watching this made her seem more like Jennifer Garner in "Juno", quiet and uncomfortable. Other than that the film was enjoyable and certainly had a plausible lesson. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Couples Retreat is a comedy centered around four couples who go on vacation to Bora Bora. While one of the couples is there to work on marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional.
My Review: The comedy aspect of the film is light. It focuses more on the situations happening between the couples. The only reason I wanted to see it was because of Vince Vaughn and he didn't disappoint. Though it wasn't as funny as Four Christmases, Couples Retreat gives movie goers the treat of laughter in an unusual format. On a different note, the other actors in the movie were hysterical, especially Jon Favreau who played a sex crazed tough guy that was very cynical. Now, even though the writing could have been a lot better this film was made just for the fans and not the critics so audiences could escape into a semi-funny story that pleases most. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
The film is set in an alternate reality in which no one has ever lied. Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) is a lecture writer who is getting fired and nothing seems to go his way. He meets Anna (Jennifer Garner) who like everyone else, doesn't lie. When he needs to pay his rent, he goes to the bank and creates the world's first lie by withdrawing more than he has on his account. From there the story begins to unfold. The first 20 minutes of the film are laugh out loud funny but it never fully recovers after the first few scenes. A great attempt at a film that could have been ten times better given a better script and more time. I saw Ghost Town last year which didn't leave a lasting impression on me either but there is a story unlike most Hollywood movies. Stick to stand up Ricky! You do much better when telling jokes to a live audience. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Michael Moore returns to the big screen in a documentary covering what happens to the country when Wall Street gets out of control. It is a sobering depiction of how everything in the media is sugar-coated. Moore goes to all lengths to show the audiences how corporate America is really screwing the citizens over. I won't get into politics but those of you who know me already are aware of my political standings. A must-see that doesn't get a lot of play in the media. It isn't his best film, but deserves mention. Nonetheless, I give him props for having the courage to stand up to what he is faced with in the movie. 3 out of 4 stars.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Love Happens is about a writer, Burk, played by Aaron Eckhart who writes a book on how to cope with losses. While in Seattle he meets a flower shop owner, Eloise, played by Jennifer Aniston. The two quickly form a bond that has it's bumps when the death of Burk's wife is mentioned or whenever they disagree with each other, naturally. If I begin to go into technicalities this film needs major editing. The storyline was at best, mediocre. It played out just like all other usual romantic drama's. The only commendable aspect was the acting of Eckhart and Aniston, as well as Martin Sheen. At parts the story did drag on but the ending seemed a bit rushed. The end is also where we get to see the sincerity of the actors and relate to what they are going through. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Tired of her bandleader husband's unfaithfulness, Ann Devereaux (Renée Zellweger) packs her sons Robbie and George into their 1953 Cadillac and hits the road in search of a new man who can make them wealthy. Finding a new relationship is not as easy as Ann thought, however, and as the time and miles roll on, George begins to resent life on the road and his mother's selfishness. When Zellweger is shown on the screen the story is set aside and her acting is what doesn't fail. The witty humor dazzles and takes the lead role of the film. Every one's acting was humble yet confident and relatable to real life. Along the way a plentiful number of actors see their way onto the screen and don't fail to amaze and amuse. Great quality film that humbles you and brings up some essential questions that we seem to set aside. 3 out of 4 stars.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This film is by far one of the most peculiar movies I have ever seen. Though it is clever in some aspects, it didn't entice or get my attention in any way. The length of the movie is perfect because if it were any longer I would have probably fallen asleep. 9 comes with a great message but in order to discover it, one has to look deep, and I mean deep into the story. This was nothing special but the animation was great. Not much dialogue came with the film which probably made it seem worse than it actually was. Very confusing unless you keep your eyes stuck on the screen 100% of the time. 1 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Inglourious Basterds begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she starts a new life as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of revenge. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. The film transitions so smoothly through the chapters that it is organized into. The story was utter brilliance with excellent direction and cinematography. The acting of Pitt was pure and authentic (and hilarious at times). There is little to say about "Basterds" that hasn't already been stated above. Serious Oscar consideration in screenplay, and acting for Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, and Mélanie Laurent. 4 out of 4 stars.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I'm just going to just right into it. Could it have been anymore tedious? I mean come on, the two hours I invested in watching this pathetic film could have been spent doing useful things, such as sleeping. It was a bore. Don't get me wrong-the action sequences were nothing short of thrilling and eye-popping but there was no story, horrible Hollywood-like romance sequences through out the feature that made me want to laugh. The only up side, aside from the action packed scenes was Marlon Wayan's performance. He deserves a better foundation for the comic relief he could have provided, if they had given him input. This is a disappointment and Paramount should be ashamed for releasing it as it was. It needs major work. 1 and a half out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I have never seen a Miyazaki film and came in not having seen a trailer for Ponyo. I had heard how great this movie is and decided to see it. I wasn't really impressed. The story wasn't anything out of this world and the characters were very odd to say the least. The only praise that I would give this film is the animation. It was incredibly unique and beautiful. It isn't a film that I would consider seeing again but I am glad that I got to experience a film of this sort. It was one of the strangest movies I have ever seen, in a comical way.About recommending it, I wouldn't recommend it but I wouldn't want to deter anyone from seeing it. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Even in a movie that is so emotional, one looks for an escape, a connection to the lovers. The film has been compared to The Notebook and Benjamin Button but let me say that it is nowhere near the genius of the two films. Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana star in the drama-romance as two lovers, with Bana being a time traveler (hence the title). The order in which the events occur are like a puzzle. In order to keep tabs on what happens in the film, you cannot miss one minute of it because you may have skipped a vital detail that builds the movie's story. The film attempts to keep the audience interested, which it achieves. The only problem is the chronology of the events and how flat the story was. It has a predictable ending which is given away in the middle. One of the better elements of the movie is the chemistry between McAdams and Bana. Great performances with a weak story. 2 out of 4 stars.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Frustrated cubicle worker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a year-long culinary journey to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She chronicles her trials and tribulations in a blog that catches on with the food crowd. The film also covers the years Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) spent in Paris during the 1940s and 1950s, when he was a foreign diplomat. The brilliance of the film belongs to Meryl Streep. Her performance as Child is truly and thoroughly convincing. When the scenes focus on her life, the room feels brighter and easier to breathe in. Even though Adams' role wasn't as glamorous and thrilling, she still played a vital role in the film. This is very different from anything director, Nora Ephron has ever done, but it fits. People who expect to see a movie like You've Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally... will be surprised but hopefully in a good way. In comparison to other films that Ephron has been involved in, this one doesn't quite grasp the audience as much as her earlier films have. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Let me start by saying this: I was looking forward to this film more than any other one this summer. I was so disappointed by the story and the roles given to Sandler and Rogen. The concept of Funny People is that Adam Sandler finds out he has a terminal disease and is expected to die shortly. Rogen is an up and coming comic that does a bit that Sandler enjoyed listening to. Yada, yada, yada, Sandler makes Rogen work for him. I didn't like this movie for many reasons but the main reason was because it made Adam Sandler be so unlikable. I always thought that if anything, Rogen would be the rotten snob while Sandler was more humble and sincere. The first half of the movie was tolerable and as it "progressed", it got worse. I was yawning through the whole thing, waiting for someone to say something even remotely funny. I got nothing. I am disappointed with Apatow's direction and the way the story made me feel like I was watching two separate films. Pity points will apply to this rating because I usually enjoy Sandler, Rogen, and Apatow in other works. 2 out of 4 stars.
(500) Days of Summer, first and foremost, belongs to its stars. The chemistry of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel was beyond spectacular. Greeting card writer, Tom is introduced to his boss' assistant, Summer. He immediately falls in love with her looks and later learns that she isn't looking for anything serious but it doesn't stop him from going to any lengths to have Summer be his. This "romantic" comedy makes the concept of romantic comedies appealing again, for I have yet to see anything that matches the brilliance of this story as well as the exceptional writing and direction the film is taken in. In addition, the soundtrack for the movie is superb and matches what each of the characters are going through so perfectly. This is simply what a refreshingly honest comedy should be like. 4 out of 4 stars.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The story begins when romantically challenged morning show producer (Katherine Heigl) agrees to a series of outrageous tests by her male correspondent (Gerard Butler) to prove his theories on relationships and allows her to find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to the totally unexpected result—she finds love at the same time that he falls in love with her. I know what they mean by "never listen to what reviews say or write and they only get paid to tell whether or not the movie is worth watching. Well, I don't get paid by the productions companies to state my opinion (yet). Which is why I'm going to tell the honest truth and it may even be the ugly truth but I liked it. The characters were not supposed to have chemistry! The whole film is based on them hating each other but secretly falling in love with one another. The situations they worked into the movie were outrageously hilarious and I don't think anyone in the theatre didn't like it. Do yourselves a favor and watch this if you want a good laugh. Come on, Katherine Heigl is in it! That alone led me to go see The Ugly Truth. 3 out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
First off, let me begin by saying that this film was nothing more than a mash up of some stupidity along with a tedious "plot" (if you can even call it that) that probably left most of the audience with a lower IQ. I sure know that I have become stupider after watching the third installment of Ice Age. A note to the producers: PLEASE RETIRE THE ICE AGE FRANCHISE!!! It will benefit the children of our country because every generation is getting progressively stupider and movies like this one don't help that condition. 1 and a half out of 4 stars.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I Love You, Man
Angels and Demons
Drag Me to Hell
My Life in Ruins
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Away We Go
Observe and Report
My complete list of best movies from the year 2009 will be created once the year in movies is finished.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for gangster violence and some language.
No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone—from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression. But while the adventures of Dillinger’s gang—later including Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi)—thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw’s capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America’s first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing “Clark Gable of the FBI.’’ However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and outgunned Purvis’ men in wild chases and shootouts. Overall, this film failed to hold my attention for the duration of the two hours and fifteen minutes. It continued with similar situations and constant unnecessary gunfire. I was expecting much better from Michael Mann. The performances of Depp and Cotillard were nothing short of spectacular. There was definite chemistry between the characters. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Synopsis formed with help of Fandango.com
Friday, July 3, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, brief nude images and thematic material.
Whatever Works did more than the title reads. It was an excellent movie that was very classic Woody Allen, yet anything different than he has ever done. It provides us with a dim view of life through the eyes of Boris Yelnikoff (Larry David) who, while coming home one night "bumps into" a naive twenty-one year old girl, Melodie (Evan Rachel Wood) from the deep south that has yet to experience life and the struggles and complications that accompany it. Boris teaches her the meaning of life and why it is pointless to accomplish anything because eventually we will all be "in a box" underground. This film provided me with insight on getting older and offered frank discussions about how the majority of society are inchworms and microbes. Though some of the characters in the film had no morals, it tried to tell a story about how love fades and how new opportunities arise with a different environment. As is said in the movie by Boris, "Whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can provide, every temporary measure of grace. Whatever works." That line spoke to me clearer than any other quote or saying I have heard in the past. It works even better when it is put into the context of the film and its impact on your personality. If you want to watch a quality film with meaning and sincerity I strongly recommend that you watch Whatever Works. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and language.
I don't think I have ever sat through a movie and wanted to leave the theatre the way I did during this trashy "movie". I take that back; I wanted to leave the theatre when I watched Hellboy II. I think I may have even left some of my intelligence in the theatre after I watched the Hellboy sequel. This was the comedy equivalent of that movie. The basic foundation of The Proposal was that a big executive of a company (Sandra Bullock) was getting deported to Canada because her visa expired so she decides to marry her assistant, played by Ryan Reynolds. Yada yada yada... The material was a bunch of recycled ideas that were used in many good comedies in the past that made them succeed. It didn't work in this movie at all. Sandra Bullock has lost her charm in her recent movies and I would die to see Ryan Reynolds make his films aim toward younger audiences as he did in "Just Friends" in 2005. 1 out of 4 stars.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Away We Go follows the journey of an expectant couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph), as they travel the U.S. in search of a place to put down roots and raise a family. Throughout their journey to find themselves, they come across many odd couples and characters that end up influencing them in how they want to raise their future child. The on-screen chemistry of the characters is something more eye-capturing than the story. When it comes to the overall premise of the film, it is numbingly raw in its depth and focus of rounding out the story to make the movie-goers relate to what the couple go through. Away We Go is one of those films that makes you want more out of life, and that's exactly how it left me feeling. 3 out of 4 stars.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for violence and pervasive language.
A New York City subway dispatcher draws on his extensive knowledge of the subway system in order to outsmart a dangerous criminal mastermind who's hijacked a subway train. Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) was moving through his daily routine when he received word that a heavily armed gang of four has hijacked a subway train and are holding all of the passengers hostage. Led by cunning master thief Ryder (John Travolta), the gunmen will begin killing everyone aboard should the authorities fail in delivering $10 million in one hour. With the tension in the tunnels rising, Walter races to save the hostages before the shootings start. Overall, this was a huge surprise. The reviews for the film weren't great but boy, did the critics get it wrong this time. It was an exhilarating thrill that literally kept me on the very edge of my squeaky theatre chair. It was a masterpiece that put Travolta back on the radar as one of Hollywood's greatest villains. If it were up to me, I would have had him nominated for an Oscar in the category of "Best Actor". This is a MUST-SEE! 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material.
Two days before his wedding, Doug and three friends drive to Las Vegas for a wild and memorable bachelor party. In fact, when the three groomsmen wake up the next morning, they can't remember a thing; nor can they find Doug. With little time to spare , the three hazy pals try to re-trace their steps and find Doug so they can get him back to Los Angeles in time to walk down the aisle. As they attempt to re-trace what had happened the night they were totally wasted, incredibly crazy events occur that include a baby, a tiger, and Mike Tyson. This recipe calls for a disaster in the works. This was a hilarious, well-thought out comedy that had the whole theater gasping for air as they were laughing incessantly. This is a movie that everyone must check out. Word is that Warner is already planning a sequel. Hopefully it won't be an awful continuation like most of the sequels today are. In any case, this deserves a great rating. 3 out of 4 stars.
Friday, June 5, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content.
Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is a Greek American tour guide who is leading a tour around Greece with an assorted group of misfit tourists who would rather buy a T-shirt than learn about history and culture. In a clash of personalities and cultures, everything seems to go wrong, until one day when older traveller Irv Gordon (Richard Dreyfuss), shows her how to have fun, and to take a good look at the last person she would ever expect to find love with: her Greek bus driver. This is a fantastic quality comedy that made the time fly as I was watching. I came into the theatre expecting something like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", and as I watched it, I realized that it exactly like it. The writers knew how to capture the audience and havae them rolling on the floor laughing! There were only a hand full of people in the theatre which shows just how unintelligent most Americans are when you see movies like Land of the Lost selling out. The movie also focuses on stereotypes that people from different countries possess. (What a coincidence!) Outstanding quality film that should be taken in for its well-written story as well as the beautiful sights shown. 4 out of 4 stars.
Monday, June 1, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG for some peril and action.
Carl Fredricksen, a quiet young boy, meets the tomboy Ellie in her clubhouse, discovering together they share the same interest in exploration as their hero, famed explorer Charles Muntz. Ellie expresses her desire to move her clubhouse to Paradise Falls in South America, a promise she makes Carl keep. Carl and Ellie wed and grow old together in the old house where they first met. Unable to have children, they also try to save up for the trip to Paradise Falls but other financial obligations arise. As she grows old and dies of old age, Carl is left in their home by himself. Until one day, a boy scout comes knocking, trying to assist Carl with anything around his house because he needs one last badge to become a "senior scout." Little does anyone know, Carl's house lifts off of the ground and into the sky above, where they embark on many challenges that challenge their loyalty and dependency on one another. My experience from the title to the credits was an enjoyable one. The 3-D animation was the icing on the cake. The images and story almost felt real. My eyes were stuck to the screen from start to finish. This fantastic Pixar film will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart because the movie shows just how valuable friendship really is. Another win for Pixar! 4 out of 4 stars.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of horror violence, terror, disturbing images and language.
Let me retract what I said when I first started this blog. I said that I wouldn't be watching or rating any horror films. This was an exception. Drag Me To Hell was one of those instances that I couldn't help myself with because the trailer was too damn enticing! This movie is about Christine, a bank employee that will possibly be getting a promotion to assistant manager. She comes across a client, an elderly gypsy woman with a glass eye and disgusting habits, who is looking for another extension on her mortgage payments. Christine, having her eyes on the prize of assistant manager, refuses to give the woman a third extension and in turn, the old woman curses her. Through the movie, you are kept on your toes, not knowing what will happen next. The rest of the story gives away too much information, thus being the reason I will not say anymore other than this: there is a monumental twist at the very end of the movie that was least expected. It left me in shock and yearning for a sequel, which is probably unlikely because the story ended in such a way that would make a sequel overkill. 3 out of 4 stars.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG for mild action and brief language.
Larry (Ben Stiller) now owns Daley Devices, a manufacturing company. He finds that the Museum of Natural History is closed for upgrades and renovations, and the museum pieces are moving to the Federal Archives at the Smithsonian Institution. On the last night, Larry meets the museum pieces such as Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Rexy and Dexter the Monkey and finds out that several exhibits, including Teddy, Rexy, the Easter Island Head, and Akmennrah are not moving to The Smithsonian Institution - the other exhibits will no longer be animated. Larry then gets a call from Jedediah (Owen Wilson), saying that Dexter stole the tablet, and that Kah Mun Rah, Akmenrah's older brother, is attacking them. Larry takes a plane to Washington and visits the museums to find the Archives with the help of his son. This film was pure garbage. The only interesting aspect was the art and such. Ben stiller delivered a dry performance which I found to my liking. The writing was stupid and the direction was poorly delivered. At times toward the end, I found myself squirming in my uncomforatble seat, waiting for it to be over. 1 and a half out of 4 stars. Sorry, Ben...better luck next time.
Friday, May 15, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, disturbing images and thematic material.
The film starts with the death of the Pope in the Vatican. It then switches off to a research facility in Geneva where a research team is experimenting with the creation of antimatter. In this scene, you can see Vittoria Vetra, a scientist in the research team. In the aftermath of the experiment, Vetra's antimatter is stolen by an unknown person, and then it switches off to Harvard University. Here a Papacy Agent contacts Langdon to come to Rome, to help him find the person responsible for sending death threats to the Vatican, and for kidnapping the four leading Cardinals for the position of Pope. This film, which was adapted from a novel, was really interestingly formulated and used many meaningful clues to figure out who the murderer was. Though it dragged on in the beginning, when the story was forming, it paid off in the end. A huge twist in the plot will leave your jaw to drop to the floor. I thought it was one of the better movies so far this year. The sequences of intense special effects made it even more enjoyable! 3 out of 4 stars.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content.
This movie is really funny. Funny in the sense that it was so damn awful. Sharon (Beyonce) and her husband move into an ideal home with their infant son. When Derek, her husband goes to work one morning he finds that he has a "temp". This seductive temptress goes to all lengths to try to make herself believe that she is with this man. The acting was terrible as well as the plot. It was way too predictable. If t weren't for the two women fighting at the end, I would have thought it was the worst movie I have ever seen. The fight between the two caught my eye and made it entertaining. It was drawn out and included some incredibly stupid moments that just led up to all of the action. Overall, I would see this purely for the fighting scene at the end. If you don't want to see two beautiful women go at it, this definitely isn't something you would want to see. 1 and a half out of 4 stars.
This thrilling action movie stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The story gets under way as the boy who will become Wolverine makes a shocking discovery about his family bloodline, and gains a brother in the process. Flash forward to when they are fighting in Vietnam, when their targets begin to include innocent civilians. Logan, fed up with fighting moves to Canada, where he builds a home with pretty schoolteacher Kayla. Informed by his old commanding officer Stryker that the members of his old team are being targeted for death, Logan is heartbroken when Victor finds and kills Kayla. Vowing revenge, Logan agrees to take part in a dangerous experiment that will fuse his bones with a powerful metal alloy, which makes him virtually indestructible and gives him the strength needed to defeat his powerful brother. Before Wolverine can seek vengeance against Striker and his brother, he'll have to do battle with Deadpool, a mutant designed with many powers. I thought this was a great film, despite what the critics are saying about it. It kept me on the edge of my seat and provided comedic moments in the process. Not seeing the other X-Men movies probably made me enjoy it more. This thrilling journey takes you on an exhilarating ride and makes you want more. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence.
This dark comedy starring Seth Rogen involves bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt being called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case. My experience watching this film was just hysterical. Rogen is so creative in all of his films and he never fails at delivering new movies that don't involve the trash that is called "comedy" now-a-days. I wish more of my movie experiences were like the ones I have when I watch Seth Rogen movies. The only aspect of the movie I didn't like was that they all played such low lives, that it gave a wake up call to most of the audience that they are too, the morons that these characters play. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.
In I Love You, Man, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a successful real estate agent who, upon getting engaged to the woman of his dreams, Zooey, discovers, that he has no male friend close enough to serve as his Best Man. Peter immediately sets out to resolve the situation, experiencing a series of bizarre and awkward man-dates, before meeting Sydney (Jason Segel) an opinionated man with whom he instantly bonds. But the closer the two men get, the more Peter's relationship with Zooey suffers, resulting with him having to choose between his fiancée and his new found best friend, in a story that comically explores what it truly means to be a friend. In my opinion, the message of the film sends out a very good vibe to the audience. The comedic performances of many of the characters was safe, but there were also many shining moments in the movie involving Peter and his fiancee's friend's husband. Those were some truly laugh out loud moments. Overall, I enjoyed this movie because it wasn't like a lot of the trash that contains vulgarity and pure stupidity in most of today's comedies. Enjoyable movie to watch at any frame of mind. 3 out of 4 stars.
Friday, March 27, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use.
Sunshine Cleaning is a movie involving two sisters and the troubles and misfortunes of their life, whether it be the death of their mother, or financial situations. Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) is a single mother in her thirties who cleans houses for a living. Wanting to send her trouble making young son Oscar to a private school, Rose decides to take her married lover's advice and get into the business of crime scene clean-up. She convinces her delusional sister Norah (Emily Blunt) to get into the business with her. They name the business "Sunshine Cleaning." They begin to find meaning in their business to "help" in some way in the aftermath of a death, just as the job stirs up memories of their own mother's suicide. Rose and Norah face hard challenges as they strive to improve their lives. The girls' father is played by Alan Arkin and his role is hysterical. Whenever there is an upsetting moment, he picks the film up with his quirky lines. This is a must-see movie that everyone will gain something from. It tells society to love the ones that are important to us because they can disappear just like that. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Where shall I start with this fantastic animated feature... First, I would like to say that this is one of Tim Burton's most brilliant films of which I have seen. He isn't afraid to be edgy with children's movies and there is no fluff added to this feature, which I like. Children need to realize that life isn't a fairy tale, as exhibited in most children's movies. Second, the animation was brilliant. The 3D aspect only made it better. The way things moved about and the effort put into each second of the movie only left me wanting more. Lastly, the humor was just right. It wasn't aimed at 5 year old kids. The comedic parts of the movie were very dry and dark. which made me enjoy it even more. Coraline is as close to flawless as an animated movie can possibly get. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Duplicity stars Clive Owen and Julia Roberts as two corporate spies that team up to manipulate a corporate race to corner the market on a medical innovation that will result in huge profits and enable them to lead an extravagant lifestyle together. The chemistry between the two main characters is very convincing and distracts you from the plot. This is where I start to critique the film. The plot was scattered and it almost seemed as if the writers and director were scrambling to meet a deadline. Luckily, the chemistry between Owen and Roberts made you forget about the plot due to their charm on screen. Paul Giamatti plays the CEO of one of the rival companies. His performance is wacky, but yet, falls into place when he meets obstacles in the development of the product he is attempting to "create". Overall, this was a slow-moving film with some shining moments toward the end. The very end makes you scramble in your thoughts as to what just happened! It was confusing unless every minor aspect of the film was watched and dissected. 2 out of 4 stars.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in the movie with a complicated love affair between a German teen and a mysterious woman considerably older than he is. The Reader opens in post-World War II Germany, where teenager Michael Berg has fallen ill with scarlet fever. Nursed back to health by Hanna, Michael eventually makes a full recovery and decides to thank her in person. When he shows up in her apartment, Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and the pair quickly enters into a passionate yet concealed affair. Later, after readings of books such as The Odyssey and Huck Finn, Hanna vanishes without warning, leaving Michael heartbroken. Nearly a decade later, Michael is a law student observing Nazi war crime trials. When Hanna comes into the courtroom and takes a seat in the defendant's chair, her past comes into focus just as Michael uncovers the secret that will have a lasting impact on both of their lives. The movie is passionate and mysterious. The affair between these two characters unfolds into something that they remember their whole life. The acting in this picture was beyond fantastic. There is unbelievable screen chemintry between Winslet and Kross. Overall, after thinking about it days after I watched it, I have come to appreciate it more than I did walking out of the theatre. I understand that the depth and the sincerity of this film is what makes it successful. Great piece of film that I would without a doubt, watch many more times. 4 out of 4 stars.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Set in 1955, Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) move to Revolutionary Road in a Connecticut suburb, and have a daughter and a son. April is dissatisfied with her life as a suburban housewife. Frank despises his marketing job at Knox Business Machines, where his now-deceased father worked for twenty years in a similar position. The Wheelers feel they are unique and special, but trapped in the conformity of life in the suburbs, where they moved to raise their children. From time to time they have bitter arguments, with Frank berating April and acting out physically. From time to time, they have outlandish ideas about moving to Paris for a change of scenery. They are struggling with their marriage but are afraid to leave each other. I thought the film was fantastic. Who knew that such a simple storyline could tell the story of almost every couple that struggles with their marriage. The sincere acting of Kate Winslet blew me away. 2008 was without a doubt, her year. DiCaprio's performance was nothing short of excellent as well. Michael Shannon did an outstanding job playing the role of the Wheeler's realtor's son who lives in a mental institution. He is often outspoken and speaks the truth about Frank and April's life. This movie is a roller coaster of emotions and I recommend that everybody sees this work of art. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
BEST PICTURE: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
COSTUME DESIGN: The Duchess
DIRECTING: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
FILM EDITING: Slumdog Millionaire
VISUAL EFFECTS: The Dark Knight
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Waltz With Bashir
MAKEUP: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY): Doubt
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY): Milk
SONG: Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire)
SCORE: Slumdog Millionaire
Thursday, February 12, 2009
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Kate Winslet (The Reader)
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: WALL-E
ART DIRECTION: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Slumdog Millionaire (Although "The Reader" is better suited for this award, Slumdog will take this catagory.)
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This funny sequel stars Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau to solve another case to capture the person who stole the pink panther diamond. Three of the most expensive artifacts have been stolen from museums in Britain, Italy and Japan, and the only clue is a card left by the famous thief, The Tornado. The Government of France plans to make a Dream Team of detectives to solve the case. Of course, with some hesitation, They end up giving the job to the inspector. At this time, Clouseau is working as a parking officer. They let him be part of the case. The rest is pure insanity when he gets himself into tons of trouble. This film is much funnier than the first one. I laughed more than I have laughed for the first movie in 2006. To this day, I still have a sour taste in my mouth from this franchise because of the horrible experience of sitting through the first one. The movies are just stupid, but the American film industry is going down the toilet anyway, so it's best to cherish stupidity for what it does: make you laugh. 2 and a half out of 4 stars.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This film stars many A-list actors for better box office numbers. People will rush into the theatres solely based on the movie's cast. It doesn't always mean that it is any good. The combination of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, the Connely siblings, as well as Scarlett Johannson and Drew Barrymore called for a mediocre storyline. Some parts of this film were true and laughable. I have to give Drew Barrymore some props for this. The was the executive producer and star of this film. Though she did not play a huge role, the story always seemed humble when you saw her face. Overall, this movie was a disappointment, but it has potential. Let me remind you that I am not a female, so I wouldn't know a good chick flick. With all of that being said, I will leave the rating of this movie in your hands, readers! I simply cannot decide on a rating to give this movie. Help me out and maybe I'll go with your opinion.
__ out of 4 stars.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
1. The Reader
2. Gran Torino
4. Revolutionary Road
5. Slumdog Millionaire
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
9. The Dark Knight
10. Last Chance Harvey
Movies that just missed the cut: Burn After Reading, Seven Pounds, Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, Role Models, Mamma Mia!
Keep in mind that this list is my opinion only. Feel free to leave comments! They are a great motivation for me to continue this blog.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire begins with Jamal, a teenager who grew up in the slums of India. This is a genius idea that entails him going on to win 20 million rupee's on a game show. The people behind the scenes of the show question whether or not he cheated. He didn't lie at all, but there was a crazy coincidence: the answers to the questions on the show were based on what he went through in his life with his brother and a girl named Latika. This is a passionate story of finding lost love and realizing that one only needs to know what he or she has been through in life. It turns out that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to win a game show or maybe to even succeed. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Stay tuned for predictions!
Monday, January 19, 2009
This movie stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson as two people who encounter each other in London while Kate (Thompson) asks Harvey (Hoffman) to answer a questionnaire at an airport that she works at. He ignores her because he has a habit of being selfish. He attends his daughter's rehearsal dinner but didn't quite receive a warm welcome, as he didn't play an active role in raising her. Kate and Harvey meet again when he needs an immediate flight back to New York because of his job writing jingles. He misses his flight and sees her reading a book in the airport bar during her break. They are each other's second half, but both get skeptical at times, as they face certain obstacles that they need to overcome. This is a great movie with a very heartfelt storyline and great acting. It will teach you about love and last chances. 3 out of 4 stars.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Bride Wars stars Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. As predicted, this movie isn't that great, but it is much funnier than I predicted it to be. Anything is better than Kate Hudson's catastrophic failure in "My Best Friend's Girl" in late 2008. The film is about two brides-to-be who are getting married. The twist is that their weddings accidentally get scheduled for the same day. They have both dreamed of having a June wedding at "The Plaza." See them battle it out until the day of their weddings. The only problem with the movie is that it is predictable and has no real meaning. This movie was a lot of fun and even though the title appeals to women, men will get as many laughs from this flick! 1 and a half out of 4 stars.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is a man who ages backwards. Along the way, he meets people that leave a mark on him and mold him to the man he would soon become. When he becomes romantically involved with a woman (Cate Blanchett), she changes him for the remainder of his years. They face one problem: How will they be able to maintain a healthy relationship when one grows older and the other grows younger. The plot of the film is attention grabbing and you don't even realize that over two and half hours has passed. After the movie was finished, I walked out with a sense of appreciation for the life and the people in it. It teaches us that we are not immortal and that we should be appreciative for the life and the people that will go out of their way to help us, no matter how bizarre the reason is. Go see this while it is still out on the big screen! I assure you that this movie will not disappoint. 3 and a half out of 4 stars.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA- Meryl Streep (Doubt) (Fairly Confident)-Lost
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA- Sean Penn (Milk) (Very Confident)-Lost
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL- Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Very Confident)-WON
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL- Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) (Fairly Confident)-Lost
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL- Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) (Very Confident)-Lost